Arlington, Virginia has turned back a proposal to eliminate the county’s important child care health and safety standards, thanks to strong advocacy efforts and recognition by County Board members of the importance of protecting our youngest children. The county manager, as part of an effort to address a budget shortfall, had proposed to save $250,000 by eliminating the local Office of Child Care Licensing. But letters and phone calls from the public and research from early childhood experts convinced the County Board that the short-term savings were far outweighed by the benefits of safeguarding children’s well-being.
Arlington County’s child care standards are crucial for ensuring the health and safety of children because Virginia does not set adequate standards of its own. For example, Virginia does not regulate providers caring for fewer than six unrelated children, while Arlington regulates any providers caring for more than three children. Read more »
Oh no he didn’t! Virginia Governor McDonnell Monday night added a ban on insurance coverage of abortion to a health care bill passed by the Virginia legislature. The underlying bill was meant to bring the state into compliance with the federal health care law – in other words, to help ensure affordable and comprehensive coverage for people, not take benefits away. But that’s exactly what Governor McDonnell’s amendment would do. And he’s not the only one.
Abortion insurance coverage bans have been introduced so far this year in at least 10 states. Some of these states are already among the 21 states that have such bans. But this year abortion opponents in those states want to prohibit even more women from obtaining abortion insurance coverage. Like Alabama, where a bill has been introduced to expand their exchange ban to all private plans and to take coverage away from survivors of rape and incest. Read more »
It’s been an exciting few weeks for advocates who are urging Governors and state legislators to say yes! Last June, the Supreme Court upheld the health care law but let states choose whether or not to take the Affordable Care Act’s funding for covering more people through the Medicaid program. Ever since then, Virginia advocates have had their work cut out for them—making phone calls, knocking on doors, and educating anyone who will listen about the important benefits to the state of Virginia, hospitals and health systems, and to the women and families who will gain the most.
Last weekend, Virginia took a big step forward. The two-year state budget includes a compromise proposal that could lead to Virginia extending coverage to approximately 350,000 Virginians who currently lack health insurance. Under this proposal, a legislative committee will ultimately determine whether the expansion will move forward. Governor McDonnell is currently reviewing this legislation.
Under the health care law, states can accept significant federal funding to expand health coverage through the Medicaid program. The federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs in the first few years, and at least 90 percent of the costs after that. As many as 7 million women who are currently uninsured could gain coverage nationwide, including 169,000 uninsured Virginia women. But as governors do the arithmetic and urge their state legislators to accept the federal money, including conservative governors such as Jan Brewer (R-AZ), John Kasich (R-OH), Susanna Martinez (R-NM) and Rick Snyder (R-MI), opponents have begun to ratchet up their rhetoric and recycle worn out misinformation in an effort discourage other states from following suit.
These attacks feature some familiar arguments – Medicaid is a poor program for poor people, states can’t trust the federal government to keep its promises, Medicaid will crowd-out other state priorities. Virginia voters should not be misled by these tired tropes.
Critics like Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute think Virginians should reject the federal money, arguing that Medicaid is a costly component of the state budget. But the truth is that by accepting the federal money, Virginia will be saving taxpayer dollars and helping 169,000 hard-working women and their families get the preventive care and medical services they need. Read more »
Think the holidays were just a time for joy, merry making, and generosity? Think again. This holiday season, state politicians continued their attacks on women's reproductive health. Here's a wrap up of from the past 2 weeks.
Today is our last weekly roundup for February, which has been an interesting month. In today’s roundup, I’ve got an updates on the two reproductive rights bills in Virginia I told you about last week, some info on an exciting new video series we’re launching, good news (!) from Maryland, new Civil Rights museums, the outcome of the tragic Yeardley Love murder case, and a segment from last week’s Saturday Night Live. Read more »
Sadly, I don’t have good news for you. After the jump are stories on low literacy rates and their impact on women, PETA’s latest ad, and some disturbing bills from the Virginia state Legislature. Read more »
Hi all, and welcome to another weekly blog roundup! This week we’ve got stories about some anti-choice bills in Virginia, a new video and call to action on SNDA, an update on Samantha Garvey, some of the perils faced by pregnant women on the job, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure decision on Planned Parenthood, and some wrap-ups on blog carnivals we participated in this week, all after the jump. Read more »